ACTIONABLE RESEARCH ON GEN Z AND MILLENNIALS
3 Things Being Impacted by Millennials’ Minimalist Moment

3 Things Being Impacted by Millennials’ Minimalist Moment

Many Millennials are embracing a less is more mentality—and it’s impacting what they buy, where they live, and what brands make for them…

Last year, we explored a rising trend among Millennials: Less Is More. At the time, we told you that more Millennials were beginning to have a minimalist moment, thanks in part to being overwhelmed by content, options, marketing, and products. We saw them bringing a “less is more” mentality to their homes, closets, diets, and more; and trends like mindfulness and decluttering (hello, Marie Kondo) were beginning to pick up speed. While young consumers have always chosen experiences over products, we found that they were looking to let go of material goods and 69% of 13-33-year-olds told us they were looking for ways to simplify their lives. Since then, we’ve seen the trend continue to grow, and more examples of Millennials’ minimalist moment have accumulated. The Less is More trend is staying strong across industries—from anti-haul videos in the beauty sector to home décor.

Decluttering is one example. According to Forbes, many entrepreneurs have found ways to cash in on the trend: Startup Cladwell works with consumers to free up their wardrobes of unneeded items, and travel accommodations company Getaway is letting consumers try out tiny living in their very small cabins for $99 a night. Here are three other areas we’ve seen impacted by Millennials current embrace of minimalism:

Home Design

Martha Stewart thinks minimalism (not Millennial pink) is the biggest change Millennials are fueling in interior design today. Business Insider reported that Stewart says “nobody [under 40] wants a lot of stuff,” and sees young people embracing a “more edited” look, clearing knick-knacks and going for chic and simple aesthetics that are picture perfect for Instagram. The homes being built for Millennials are also changing to account for their minimalist ways. We talked about Pardee Homes in our original report—their research on the generation has led them to design Millennial homes with open floor plans, clean lines, and fewer closets in favor of more living space because “research shows Millennials are not big acquirers.” Millennials also reportedly prefer McModerns to Boomers’ infamous McMansions—with the newer McModerns more minimalist in style, and reportedly loved by “young, tech-focused, highly-educated [M]illennials.” Homes aren’t the only places being redesigned for the less is more set: Hotels are going minimal to cater to the younger generation, taking out desks, closets, dressers, and bathtubs from rooms—sometimes frustrating older travelers.

Branding

If you’re starting to think every startup’s style is the same, you’re not alone—and you’re not wrong. Racked delved into the fact that the minimalist Less is More aesthetic is dominating the lifestyle startup scene. From Outdoor Voices to Glossier to Thinx to Bonobos, clean branding typified by rounded sans-serif fonts is used by startups to reinforce the idea that they’re simple, straightforward, and convenient. The fonts themselves are the backlash of the Lisa Frank heyday, which saw cluttered, graphic WordArt-style logos flood the design scene. While “design is a pendulum,” and “ornate and maximalist” looks may start seeping in, we’re continuing to see the success of stripped down design in branding, and bigger companies have taken notice as well. Starbucks’ seasonal cups for spring and fall in 2017 were clean palettes with an empty circle—as minimalist as it gets.

Their Parents’ Stuff

Minimalist Millennials and Gen Xers won’t take their parents’ stuff, and Goodwill is “overrun” with the excess donations. The New York Times reports that younger generations are no longer concerned with “keep[ing] up with the Joneses” by stocking up and showcasing fine china. Besides, the average age of home ownership has been pushed back and young people more often think that Less is More and value experiences over things. Because of this, the storage business is booming and some seniors are paying up to $5,000 to de-clutter, with Goodwill receiving “about 20% more donations of everything than in previous years.” 

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